Mediterranean Diet Dinner for Summer (and Shopping List!)

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Summer is here! And as a foodie and dietitian, one of the things I love most about this time of year is the abundance of delicious produce. The sheer variety inspires me to include more vegetables in my meals. Eating more produce, along with whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats are the principles of the Mediterranean diet. Research has shown that it can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, increase longevity, support our cognitive function and much more. While many people think that following the Mediterranean diet means eating only dishes from the countries of that region, its principles can be applied to any kitchen—like the recipes in this week’s dinner plan. Let’s dive in!

Your weekly schedule

Sunday: Cast Iron Pan Pizza with Red Peppers, Chicken and Spinach
Frittata with Asparagus, Leeks & Ricotta
Grilled Chicken Tacos with Creamy Lime Salsa
Creamy Lemon Orzo with Spinach and Peas
Coconut Curry Chicken Casserole
Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

Sunday: Cast Iron Pizza with Red Peppers, Chicken and Spinach

Jason Donnelly

Who knew you could make pizza in a cast iron skillet? Well, yes, you can! The good thing about this method is that your crust will be extra crispy. And this pizza is not only delicious, but also full of beautiful color (and therefore nutrients) from red pepper, spinach and basil. While I could roast the bell peppers myself, going back to the jar saves me a lot of time.

Monday: Asparagus, Leek & Ricotta Frittata

Photographer / Jacob Fox, Food Styling / Sue Mitchell, Food Styling / Kelsey Bulat

I always think of frittatas and quiches as weekend brunch dishes, but every time I make one for dinner, I’m glad I did! Asparagus and leeks not only make it visually appealing, but are among the best foods to help improve gut health. And ricotta cheese and crème fraîche add the perfect creaminess. I’ll toss the mixed greens with a Meyer Lemon vinaigrette to serve alongside.

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken Tacos with Creamy Lime Salsa

While it’s Taco Tuesday, I think tacos are worth having every day of the week (and more than once!). The combination of chili powder and the charred aroma from grilling chicken is delightful. Plus, topping them with slaw adds a bright, crunchy touch. Before I start on the tacos, I’m going to pickle the cucumbers for this Cucumber Vinegar Salad. Then, while the chicken is cooking, I’ll finish the salad.

Wednesday: Creamy Lemon Orzo with Spinach and Peas

Photography: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn

Although orzo looks like rice, it is actually a type of pasta. The combination of orzo, spinach and peas provides 12 grams of fiber per serving. To finish off the meal, I’ll serve it with a simple but flavorful Lemon-Garlic Salmon Pan.

Thursday: coconut-chicken cocottes

A key ingredient in the flavor-packed sauce is Thai curry paste—an aromatic blend of lemongrass, ginger, and chili pepper. Using it adds a lot of nice, comforting flavor without the need for extra sodium. While the chicken is cooking, I have time to make zucchini and onion stir-fries with chickpea butter. These two vegetables are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidant nutrients that support your eye health.

Friday: Lettuce with shrimp ends

Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Julian Hensarling, Prop Stylist Tucker Vines

One thing I love about summer the dishes are as fresh and vibrant as they are. And this recently released dinner delivers just that! Vegetables like bell peppers, red onions, carrots, cilantro and even lettuce provide many nutrients that support your overall health. This recipe has a little kick from the sambal oelek (chili paste), so feel free to adjust the portion based on your preferences. Easy Fried Rice pairs perfectly with these Shrimp Lettuce Wraps.

I wish you all a great week and I hope you enjoy this dinner plan. If you try a recipe, don’t forget to add a review.

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